When the National Institute for Security Studies (NISS) extended an invitation to Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje of Kano State to make presentation at its Executive Intelligence Management Course (EIMC) 13, which held at the institute’s Plenary Hall, Lower Usuma Dam, Bwari, Abuja on September 21, 2020, I had no doubt that members of the intelligence and security community, scholars, analysts and other participants will come to realise that Ganduje is a model of success in the governance of Kano State. Having partaken in the lecture series christened: “Promoting National Security and Economic Development: The Kano Experience,’’ the presentation stick up apart in a number of ways.
Ganduje, who dwelt on the state of security in the country, stated how Nigeria has, over the years, been grappling with security challenges to such an extent that overwhelming allocation is placed in the nation’s annual budget side-by-side with the enormous security challenges the country has faced of recent. There is no doubt that the security situation calls for extra-ordinary measures to combat it.
The presentation which was intermittently interrupted with standing ovation also stated how the security challenge has led to the loss of valuable lives and properties as well as dissuading investors from coming to the country. Major security challenges facing the state and the country in general include the Boko Haram insurgency, armed robbery, kidnapping, rape, illicit substance abuse and cattle rustling.
The Ganduje administration is reconnoitering all prospects provided by his second coming to ensuring that a solid foundation is laid for the consolidation of the achievements of his first term in office by guaranteeing that not only all hands are on deck to ensuring the effective security of life and properties, but also leaving a lasting legacy in that direction.
The security architecture by the state government has ensured relative peace in Kano State in comparison with its neighbours. This, it does by ensuring that government policies are anchored on sound empirical data obtained from research.
Part of the outcome of this research as enumerated by the governor is the realisation that young people the world over are the greatest and valuable assets as they are naturally endowed with physical energy, mental alertness and urge for success in all facets. In this country, reliable statistics have shown that those who fall within the ages of 18 to 35 years, who are classified as youth, consist of almost 54 per cent of the entire population. Going by the projection, therefore, one can deduce that Kano State being the most populous state in the federation can claim the highest percentage of youth compared to other states in the country. This, therefore, befits on the state government that youth challenges on the government are enormous.
The Ganduje administration also realised the fatality of paying lip service to matters related to the advancement of the cause of the youth. The youth is strong, energetic and adventurous and if these sterling characteristics of the youth are not properly channelled toward productive, positive and communally adventurous courses, the society will pay dearly for it. Many challenges were confronting the livelihood of our youth paving the way for frustration, discontentment and estrange.
In realisation of the enormous problem being faced by our teeming youth population, the government of Kano State maintains its rightful stance as a youth-friendly administration with a view to alleviating the myriads of social vices occasioned by unemployment that pose serious danger to our wellbeing. The government introduced concrete plans, sound programmes and projects aimed at providing succour for the youth and adopted policies designed to provide ample opportunity for youth engagement for self-reliance in the field of education, agriculture, healthcare services, and economic empowerment, among others.
Some of the measures adopted include convening monthly Security Council meeting, use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to combat crime. The sum of over N400 million was also expended for the construction of an Advanced Communication System at Bompai Police Command, Kano; the sum of over N100 million was spent on the establishment of a Tracking System at the state headquarters of the Department of State Services (DSS). The security infrastructure was used to rescue prominent people like the Kano-based Islamic scholar, Sheikh Ahmad and a traditional ruler in Daura, Katsina State.
And with the setting up of CCTV cameras in different locations in the state, the efforts by the administration at ensuring effective security have been boosted.
The Ganduje administration is also allocated 2169.78 hectares of land at Falgore forest and expended over N318 million for the construction of a Military Training Area. It also collaborated with various arms of law enforcement agencies, particularly the Army and the Police and provided them with logistics, and equipment, and set up a Police Anti-Cattle Rustling Squad, Ambush Squad and Tactical Observation points along the Falgore forest. A committee was also established to ensure that recovered livestock from rustlers are returned to their owners.
In the last one year, the state government established the RUGA settlements and commissioned the first batch of 25 housing units of RUGA settlement project of the 200 units earmarked for construction at Dansoshiya forest in Kiru local government area of the state.
The project is aimed at tackling the issue of herdsmen/farmers which has been a challenge that mitigated the efforts of our security systems. The RUGA project entails the settlement of cattle rearers in a single location, lessening the clashes between them and farmers.
It has also been able to employ and empower for self-reliance over 2,000,000 youth under its various entrepreneurial and empowerment schemes that included auto-mechanic, ICT, carpentry, POP, tailoring, barbing and saloon, artificial insemination, employment of 742 agricultural extension agents, the implementation of various skills acquisition and empowerment programmes for over 5,000 small businesses’ operators and unemployed youth across the state.
Others included recruitment of 650 youth as tax collectors, approval of the engagement of 2,000 female teachers, approval of a partnership for the employment of 5,000 youth to serve as agents and sub-agents for the marketing of MTN and Diamond Bank products; training and empowerment of 630 youth on various vocational skills at the Sani Abacha Vocational Training Centre, Fagge; facilitated the training and empowerment of 500 women on various trades under the Ganduje Kanawa Economic Empowerment Initiative and women empowerment through municipal solid waste management, which involves 500 women and 60 mini-truck disposals tagged: “Kano Kal-Kal”.
The Ganduje administration also constructed a multi-million naira Dangote Integrated Skill Acquisition Centre and equipped it with state of the art facilities. Plans are underway to open it and commence the training of youth in 12 trades. The establishment of the centre resulted from a research conducted in Kano on the needs of the state and particularly its large population of youth. The trades include block work and concrete work; carpentry and joinery, plumbing and pipe works, electrical installation, refrigeration and air conditioning, electricity and electronics, computer engineering, and technical drawing.
The rest are metal machine workshop, engineering fitting workshop, welding and fabrication, automotive body repairs, automotive electronics, automotive mechanics, catering and hospitality, dressmaking and fashion, hairdressing and beauty therapy, business and computer studies, leatherworks and shoemaking as well as renewable energy laboratory.
The establishment and engagement of Hisbah Corps and KAROTA operatives has also provided opportunities for many of the teeming youth in the state, while the creation of four new Emirates of Bichi, Karaye, Gaya and Rano in the state opened more opportunities in different fields of human endeavours.
The governor’s presentation as summed up above, thrilled the participants at the lecture series considering the laudable achievements recorded in the effort of the Kano State government to tackle security challenges in the state.
–Garba is the commissioner of Information, Kano State